Continuing the Journey in Vietnam and Cambodia

Inside the Temple of Literature in Hanoi

Before I met Phyllis, I agreed to join my friends Ross and Richard Kennel and 12 other friends from Waterloo, ON on a Mekong River Cruise. Once Phyllis and I decided that we were going to join our lives, we decided to use this trip as the  2nd part of our Honeymoon. We left Ontario on October 29.

We met our friends in Hanoi, Vietnam. We marvel how friendly and welcoming the people of Vietnam are to the world and especially Americans.  This country is growing rapidly and is open for business.

Hạ Long Bay

At Ha Long Bay we visited what is considered by many to be the eight natural wonder of the world. I enjoyed hiking up the 428 steps to view the Bay. Jim Erb and I were the only ones  in our group to hike to the top. We also visited a pearl farm.

In Cambodia we spent 3 nights at Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former capital of the Khmer empire.

I will post some photos to give you a glimpse of the rich history of this region. The Cambodia people welcome the world as they serve as guardians of these sites and rich culture. They are grateful for the partners of the other nations who assist with funding and archeological restoration.

Child from the village Kampong, Cambodia

Cambodia has 16 million inhabitants and our guides are very helpful in interpreting their history and current life. They are proud of their King. One guide said, “our King is friendly with the Government of Vietnam. They have 95 Million inhabitants, we must share the Mekong Delta. Good Friends builds Freedom.”

Tomorrow we board the AMA Waterways boat which will be parked on the Tonie River, Cambodia.

Please enjoy the photos below.

~ Wilmer and Phyllis

Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phyllis and Ross Kennel, Temple of Literature
Turtle steles: the turtle is a symbol of longevity and wisdom in Vietnam.
Temple of Literature
Street life in Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Phyllis and Wilmer enjoying a ride

Pearl farm
At the Pearl farm
Cave in Hạ Long Bay
Temple at Angkor Archaeological Park
Temple at Banteay Srei
This early 12th c temple was built by King Suryavarman 11 to honor the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Child monk
Weaving at Silk Island near Koh Chen, Cambodia. This industry provides employment for widows of the war.
Enjoying a ride
Our home on the Tonie River
Dinner in the Captain’s dining room
A beautiful dinner
Ross and Richard Kennel “enjoying” the ox cart ride.
Going for an “ox cart” ride
Street vendor selling jewelry
This school group (students ages 8 to 13) performed on our ship. They pulled a few of us up on to the stage to help them.
Greetings from Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia.
Family transportation in Phnom Penh
Views on the city tour
Commemorative stupa filled with the skulls of the victims at the Khmer Rouge Killing Field of Choeung Ek.
Meeting with one of the survivors of the Killing Fields.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum where we learned about the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge Regime from 1975 to 1979.
We visited Tan Châu, a small Mekong Delta farming island. We were welcomed to a 71 year old farmer’s home. He was one of the original families to settle on the island. We’re back in Vietnam.
Life on the river
Making rattan matts at a workshop on Evergreen Island.
We enjoyed the beautiful Lotus flowers.
The river at sunset.
We enjoyed a delicious farewell dinner on the ship and took a photo of our group. Next stop, Saigon.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon.
Head Post Office in Saigon.
View of the city of Saigon at night. We enjoyed dinner on the 18th floor of our hotel. Fantastic view!
We visited the area where the Viet Cong had tunnels during the war.
Ross Kennel was brave and went down into the tunnels.
Relaxing before our flight to Seoul, Korea. We have a layover there so will enjoy a four hour city tour prior to our direct flight to Toronto.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Beautiful happy couple from Trai Mat Village
Beautiful happy couple from Trai Mat Village
Ruth Martin talking to 83 year old at Cao Dai Temple
Ruth Martin talking to 83 year old at Cao Dai Temple
Women gardening in Da Lat
Women gardening in Da Lat
Beautiful garden city of Da Lat
Sue Miller and Mary Elaine Byler in the beautiful garden city of Da Lat
Sue and Mary Elaine with a family of fabric vendors at the Chicken Village
Sue and Mary Elaine with a family of fabric vendors at the Chicken Village
Taking bananas to market
Taking bananas to market
Transporting Rice Husk on the Mekong River
Transporting rice husk on the Mekong River. Do you see the eyes?
Choir at the quadrennial conference of the Vietnam Mennonite Church
Choir at the quadrennial conference of the Vietnam Mennonite Church
Wonderful art at a workshop employing handicapped indivdiuals
Wonderful art at a workshop employing handicapped individuals
Learning from workers at the rubber plantation
Learning from workers at the rubber plantation

Click here to read the stories behind the pictures.

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Hanoi, Vietnam

Wilmer on cyclo tour of the Old Quarters
Wilmer on cyclo tour of the Old Quarters
Congested traffic in Hanoi
Despite the incredible traffic, there is no shouting, just calm determination to get to your destination.
Tour group at Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum
Tour group at Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum
Presidential Palace
Presidential Palace
Wilmer and Ms. Quyen with Albert & Mary Hildebrand in front of Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House
Wilmer and guide Ms. Quyen with Albert & Mary Hildebrand in front of Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House
MCC Vietnam Staff and their families at Thanksgiving Dinner
MCC Vietnam Staff and their families at Thanksgiving Dinner
Vietnamese musicians who entertained the group at Thanksgiving dinner
Vietnamese musicians who entertained the group at Thanksgiving dinner
Cruising on Ha Long Bay
Cruising on Ha Long Bay

Click here to read the stories behind the pictures.